What Would JCPS’ District of Innovation Look Like?

Students in Computer LabFrom WFPL News: “Jefferson County Public Schools officials have laid out any early blueprint for what its application for the Kentucky Department of Education’s “District of Innovation” designation may look like. So far, the ideas being tossed around include an online classroom available 24 hours a day, Saturday courses and more teacher collaboration.

Under a law passed last year, Kentucky school districts can seek waiver from certain Kentucky Department of Education regulations in order to improve student achievement.”

Click here to read the full article from WFPL.

Blazing The Trail For Female Programmers

Sarah Allen
This image courtesy of NPR.

Have you heard of Sarah Allen? She’s a programming pioneer. From NPR: ” has been the only woman on a team of computer programmers a few times in the more than two decades she has worked in the field. Most notably, she led the team — as the lone female programmer — that created Flash video, the dominant technology for streaming video on the Web.”

Click here to read this excellent piece from NPR on Sarah.

U.S. scores about average in science despite perception

Science StudentsFrom ASCD SmartBrief: “A recent survey shows that American adults mistakenly believe U.S. students rank poorly on international science tests, despite evidence to the contrary. A Pew Research Center for the People & the Press poll found that 44% of those surveyed said teens in the U.S. ranked near the bottom in international comparisons. Results of the 2009 Program for International Student Assessment, however, show 12 countries had higher scores than the U.S. students, nine had lower scores and 12 countries posted scores similar to the U.S.”

Read the full Huffington Post story here.

NBC Learn: Science of Innovation

NBC Learn Logo
Courtesy of NBC Learn

NBC Learn, in collaboration with the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, explores the process of innovation in a series called “Science of Innovation.” Topics covered include: smart concrete, self-driving cars, fuel cell efficiency, electronic tattoos, biometrics, biofuels, anti-counterfeiting devices, 3D printing, what is innovation, and bionic limbs. The videos can be viewed on the NBC Learn website. What great resource for inspiring and informing young innovators!

Click here to view the videos.

Episode 17: Wei-Shin Lai with SleepPhones

Girl with SleepPhones
Courtesy of SleepPhones

This answer from Dr. Wei-Shin Lai about landmarks moments in her career inspired this episode: “A few years after making the decision to enter private practice, I decided to finally do something about not sleeping well when I was ‘on call.’ I would only get maybe 2-4 calls about patients every 4th night when I was on call, but those calls would keep me up for much of the night. It was hard for me to get back to sleep after a 3 a.m. phone call. I wanted to try listening to meditative music, but earbuds didn’t fit my ears, and headphones were too bulky for me to sleep on my side. So I invented my own headphones for sleeping. Six years later, SleepPhones® are in Brookstone stores nationwide, on Amazon.com, and for sale at SleepPhones.com.”

In this episode of the Innovation Update, Dr. Julia Roberts, executive director of The Center for Gifted Studies, interviews Wei-Shin about SleepPhones, what it takes to become an entrepreneur, and how she juggles her career as a physician and her business.


New Kentucky fund will support education innovation

Kentucky State CapitolFrom the Herald Leader: “A new non-profit fund will help support education in Kentucky by funding innovative programs that could increase the number of students graduating from high school ready for college or careers. The private Fund for Transforming Education in Kentucky would distribute money on two levels, according to an announcement Monday.”


Happy World Creativity and Innovation Week

WCIW Keep Calm
Courtesy of WCIW

From worldcreativity.wordpress.com:

Remember to share with the world what you are doing for World Creativity and Innovation Week, April 15 – 21 in an easy tweet.  #wciw

World Creativity and Innovation Week April 15 – 21 celebrates the unlimited potential of people to be open to and generate new ideas, be open to and make new decisions, and to be open to and take new actions that make the world a better place and make your place in the world better too.

Enjoy your right to make a difference in your life and the lives of others.

KGSC Annual Meeting is June 7

KGSC logo
Courtesy of KGSC

From KGSC: Eastern Kentucky University and the Kentucky Girls STEM Collaborative are hosting the 2013 Annual Conference, “Reaching for the Stars”.  The event will take place June 7, 2013 at the EKU Hummel Planetarium, Library and the new Science Building from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm.

Panel and session speakers include Dr. Suzanne Smith, Director of NASA Kentucky Space Grant Consortium and NASA EPSCoR Program at University of Kentucky; Kristy Fehr, Kentucky’s Outstanding Elementary Science Teacher 2012; Cynthia Warner from KET; Dr. Kristen Brennan, Senior Research Scientist from AllTech; Liza Holland of “STEM Sparks” from Tates Creek Middle School; and Dr. Tanea Reed, Asst. Professor in the Department of Chemistry at EKU.

In conjunction with the Girls is STEM Conference on June 7, Eastern Kentucky University will be hosting a “Girls STEM Day” from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.  STEM practitioners and educators will lead girls through activities that mirror real-world STEM tasks and highlight creative and innovative problem solving. Participants will also learn how to best prepare themselves to study STEM fields in high school and college.

Keep checking the annual meeting web page for schedule updates and for how to register.

Fast Company’s 50 Most Innovative Companies

Nike swooshFast Company has released its list of the 50 most innovative companies in 2013 and topping the list is Nike with its FuelBand and Flyknit shoes. Also cracking the top 10 is an online retailer that’s revolutionized shipping, an upstart startup with mobile wallets on the brain, and a big box retailer that is streamlining the business of shopping in urban areas.

Who else made the list? Click here to find out.

Technology startups: apply now for funds!

Technology startupsFrom The Lane Report: “The Kentucky SBIR-STTR Matching Funds Program for innovative start-up businesses developing new technologies will accept applications for Round 19 between April 1 and April 30, 2013. Companies from Kentucky and those willing to move to Kentucky can apply for and receive Kentucky matching funds for their federal SBIR-STTR grants.”

Click here to learn more about this opportunity.